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Herd photo

By Don Kilmer

Posted August 6, 2019

It is a true statement that, on average, men are physically larger and stronger than women. But we all know individual women who are warriors and individual men who are weaklings.

If intelligence is defined as reason applied to the tasks of survival, prosperity, art, leisure, and acquiring more intelligence, I’ve never discovered any evidence of a similar disparity in intelligence—average or anecdotal—between the sexes.

Individuals acting stupidly while part of a group remain individuals. The acts of individuals acting stupidly says nothing about any other individuals who might also be classified as part of that group, or as part of any larger classification such as race, sex, or nationality. Furthermore, membership in such a class tells us nothing about the intelligence of the individual.

This is the essence of the wrongheadedness of collectivism.

But collectivism is rampant in today’s discourse for at least three reasons:

  1. Our technology has made it easy to identify characteristics like race, gender, sex, religion, politics, nationality, relative wealth, education, location, literacy, and commercial needs. Algorithms can sort demographic data about people as efficiently as they can sort an inventory, a library, or a string of alphanumeric characters.

  2. Some people have discovered it was in their best interests to use this technology, not only to sort and identify these characteristics, but also to leverage this sorting into a device for crowd manipulation and control. In other words, the same mechanism that persuades people to buy a particular tennis shoe, breakfast cereal, or automobile can be used to persuade some people to volunteer for political classifications, like Democrat, or Republican, or conservative, or progressive, or Antifa, or white nationalist, or Brexit, or MAGA.

  3. The complexity of our world tempts us to employ this new tool of collectivism. Why? Because believing you’ve mastered the ability to predict human behavior provides a powerful temptation. And if you think you can predict human behavior, you might falsely believe you can control it.

We must, and soon, get a handle on how this confluence of collectivism and technological advances has brought us to this dangerous moment. We must find a way to peacefully back away from the precipice. If not, I fear we may suffer a cataclysm that will make the 19th century’s Civil War seem small.

I don’t propose political control of technology. I propose political control of the corrosive and putrid consequences of the stale and dangerous ideology of collectivism. The U.S. Constitution and most of its Amendments were a good start. With some minor adjustments and fuller appreciation of their virtues, America can return to the path of an intelligent existence.


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